Friday, 5 June 2009
Yesterday I attended the Cinema Exhibitor's Association's (CEA)'Digital Roadshow', a conference that travelled the country talking about digital technology, 3D, and what cinema owners/operators are going to do about it. The meeting at the Odeon Bayswater was the final stop on the tour.
The central point of the gathering was to rally support behind an initiative to fund digital technology equipment for everyone BUT the major chains, who can clearly afford it themselves. Phil Clapp (CEA CEO) and Peter Buckinghman (UKFC Distrib and Exhibition Head Honcho) were actively recruiting independent cinema owners and small circuits to join their effort to create a consolidated bargaining position when it comes to securing the new, essential, digital technology.
Why does this matter? Because up to 300 independent cinemas could face closure if they don't switch to digital in the next few years. The average cost of the kit is about £60K and most indies can't afford it. There is no more public money for it, and the distributors couldn't care less, as these independents represent less than 10% of the UK Box office.
So well done to the CEA and the UKFC for trying to sort things out.